How training came to the forefront for safe power delivery

For nearly four decades, training has helped co-op line workers build skills, focus on safety

HEATS lineman trainees

About 40 years ago, co-op leaders thought to develop a training program to ensure lineworkers had the skills and knowledge they needed to keep themselves and others safe on the job. 

Based on this idea, a formal training program was set into motion in 1974, and the first Hoosier Energy Apprenticeship Training and Safety (HEATS) class launched the following year. 

A Hoosier Energy employee had a vision to turn a rural site west of Franklin, Indiana, into a home base for both classes and physical training for the HEATS program. 

Today, Chief Technology Officer Bob Richhart’s passion and vision for employee training and safety has been instrumental in meeting the growing needs of member cooperatives. The HEATS program has become a cornerstone of Hoosier Energy’s employee development program, as well as a continuing education opportunity for journeymen. 

“I really can’t say enough about the Franklin Training Center and the work our safety team does there,” Richhart said. “The facility offers in-depth training in a safe environment that allows for one-on-one classroom and field work.”